Restaurant Reviews/ Toronto and GTA

[Review] JaBistro Modern Japanese Restaurant in Toronto

Ja Bistro roll

Address:  222 Richmond St W. Toronto, ON
When I visited: February 2014, 2 people , dinner
Cuisine: Japanese
Rating: $$$, 5

I can’t believe it took me this long to try out one of the best sushi restaurants in Toronto.

The restaurant is right beside the Yuk Yuk’s comedy club on Richmond St. During dinner, my husband and I were contemplating what club used to be in its place. From the same owners as Guu, they did a great job at keeping the earth tones in the décor but did not keep the loud Guu Izakaya atmosphere. Thank goodness! I did however enjoy the house and dance music; I was transported in time to my clubbing days and was dancing in my seat.

Ja Bistro

I made reservations to sit at the bar since I wanted to be where the action was. We got a sweet seat in front of Chef Koji Tashiro where I thoroughly enjoyed watching him blow torch the rolls and seeing him work his magic behind the bar. I looked at the menu at home a thousand times, so I knew what I wanted.

The menu prices are high but you truly get what you pay for, well at least for the fish.

The 4 things I would highly recommend getting at Jabistro are:

1.The sashimi sampler platter. For $50, my husband and I shared a platter that was just exceptional and creative!

The fish included some of my favourite items including toro, salmon roe on top of uni, octopus and hamachi.  There were items that I have not eaten elsewhere including monkfish liver (aka foie gras of the sea) and house made jelly. The restaurant even went the distance to create a house-made soy sauce, which I preferred over the regular soy sauce. It was less salty and sweeter.

Ja Bistro sashimi platter

$50 Sashimi platter -perfect amount for 2 people

If you can afford it or have a larger party, I’d recommend going for the $100 platter as there is more variety and the plating will just blow you away! I saw a few parties order it and I was mesmerized every time it came out of the kitchen.

2. Yukke (angus beef tartare). I loved the chucky beef mixed with the spicy Korean gochujang with quail egg, served with nori. At $11, I think this is a total steal!

Ja Bistro beef tartare

Ja Bistro Angus beef tartare

3. Any of the blow torched sushi rolls! The blow torch enhances the taste and allows the juices to run into the roll, while having a seared taste. Our Ja Bistro roll was full of flavour and the uni provided a depth of creaminess.

Ja Bistro roll

4. Get a drink! (No, not just water or pop). JaBistro stocks amazing Japanese liquers and sake. They also have a fully decked bar and an awesome bartender. I ordered the super smooth Seikyo sake and the bartender’s creation called “noble cherry”, made with gin and nigori sake. My husband enjoyed his refreshing ‘virgin spicy celery lime’ drink.

Seikyo Sake, spicy celery lime and ‘noble cherry’ (Drink of the week)

We also ordered the tori nanban which is battered chicken with tartar sauce. I would recommend eating this as soon as it arrives, otherwise the batter quickly gets soggy from the tartar sauce. Flavours were delicious otherwise.

Tori nanban battered chicken

The sashimi and sushi are definitely the stars of this restaurant, where every plate is a piece of art. If you are on twitter, you must follow @jabistro222, they often tweet pictures of their masterpieces. They call it foodporn for a reason!

This will be my go-to restaurant when I want to splurge for quality and delicious sushi!  Maybe next time, I will try their tasting menu. For now, I will just drool at my pictures until I can visit again.

JaBistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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  • ourhappyjar
    February 26, 2014 at 8:15 pm

    I second #3! Last time, I decided that if I ever wanted to save room for just one thing on that menu, it’d be their blow-torched sushi!